March 2, 2011
Welterweight chaos in UFC
By CHRIS DOUCETTE, QMI Agency
TORONTO - The top ranks of the UFC’s welterweight division are clear as mud after last weekend’s event Down Under.
The Penn-Fitch fight at UFC 127 was suppose to determine a number one contender for the title currently held by Georges St. Pierre.
But with no clear winner in Sydney, Australia, UFC officials will have to re-examine the top ranks of the division.
BJ Penn and Jon Fitch had hoped a win would propel them to a title shot against either current champion GSP or Jake Shields, depending on who wins their fight at UFC 129 in Toronto Apr. 30.
So there’s already talk of a re-match, which makes sense
as long as the UFC makes their next meeting a five-rounder.
Both fighters are open to the idea.
Penn, 32, has hinted at possible retirement in the wake of the fight. But that could just be B.J. playing coy in an effort to bump up his next pay cheque.
The Stunning upset of heavily favoured Chris Lytle by Brian Ebersole in his first UFC appearance further complicates the division.
Lytle was among the top four welterweights expected to take part in a showdown if GSP beats Shields and then vacates his belt to move up to the middleweight division for a “super fight” with champ Anderson Silva.
Carlos Condit was also suppose to be in the mix before dropping out of his fight with Lytle because of an injury.
Ebersole, a wily veteran with 46 MMA wins, did an awesome job replacing Condit.
After walking out wearing a padded boxing helmet with his chest hair shaved into the shape of an arrow that pointed toward his face, Ebersole immediately attempted an odd-looking cart-wheel kick that missed.
The unorthodox fighter went on to dominate Lytle, cutting him badly above his eye and nearly knocked him out for the first time in his UFC career.
He scored a unanimous decision and fought back tears in his post-fight interview.
But his UFC record of 1 win and 0 losses likely won’t be enough to get Ebersole into the mix of top contenders.